The Power of 57cents

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I remember many years ago hearing a speech about a little girl named Hattie Mae Wiatt and the inspirational story that is now referred to as ’57 Cents”

The story takes place in 1886 in Pennsylvania. Little Hattie Mae was attending Sunday School one day when she was turned away at the front door because the church was overcrowded. Hattie Mae was so upset that she sat down on the steps of the church and began to cry. When the pastor noticed Hattie crying he approached her, extended his hand and said ” All young children should be allowed to attend Sunday School” He then walked her inside and made a place for her sit.

Hattie was so inspired by the good deed of the Pastor she vowed to save as much money as she could and do whatever she had to to help the pastor build a larger church. Unfortunately 2 yrs later. Hattie Mae Wiatt died of diphtheria at 9 years old.

Hattie Mae Wiatt


As her poor little body was being moved from her home, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, that read “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school.”

Once the Pastor got word of this he read the note to the congregation and the members began to donate what little monies they had. Soon the local newspaper got a hold of the story and suddenly an entire community began to donate. Checks and monies poured in from all over the world and within five years Hattie Mae Wiatts little 57c donation inspired more than $250,000.00 in contributions

With the inspiration from Hattie the entire community kept their promise and built that church. Today we know that church as Temple Baptist which sits on the grounds of Temple University,the 26th largest university in the United States with more than 38,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The church itself seats more than 2,000 people and has witnessed more than million individuals pass through it’s doors since Hatties death.

Temple Baptist Church


In life sometimes the smallest deeds have the largest impacts. In our times of struggle the inspiration we need is all around us. It is amazing how much more we can accomplish as a group rather than solo. All works of art in life may have been started by one persons idea but came to life buy the work of many. All successful people know you achieve the most by surrounding yourself with people who bring the best out of you.

As Lao Tzu had once said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.Sometimes all we need to do to spark an immediate turn around in our lives is take that first step.You never know if your next trade,that chance meeting,that small idea in your head, that new venture, the business you thought about starting or finally scratching something off your bucket list may ultimately become a major turning point in your life.

I encourage you to live life beyond what you think is capable and I don’t mean financially, I mean personally.

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